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Jake Wallis Simons is a novelist, journalist and graphic artist. His acclaimed first novel, The Exiled Times of a Tibetan Jew, was named by the Independent on Sunday as a Book of the Year. His second novel, The English German Girl — about the Kindertransport — will be published by Polygon in April 2011.
Jake’s comics have been commissioned by the Times, for whom he writes regular features on arts and culture, ideas and psychology, food, child development, Israel and religion. He has also written features for the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph, La Repubblica and other publications, and his work has been featured in The Week magazine. He is a contributor to BBC Radio 4′s From Our Own Correspondent.
Born in London in 1978, Jake was awarded a first class degree in English from St Peter’s College, Oxford, before undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Jake is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, and Practitioner-in-Residence at Bournemouth University. He lives with his family in Winchester.
April 2014 Book of the Month. A clever, absorbing story of choices and opportunities, brought about on an enforced break from the real world during a Sunday evening traffic jam. The first chapter is almost hypnotic, adroitly setting the scene during this stoppage of time; granting fleeting, flashing glimpses into someone else's day, people who aren't important to the story but are important to someone. We are then introduced to a diverse and captivating cast of characters, whose differences highlight the unlikely meeting point and ensuing action. Suspend reality for a while, just join the Jam and contemplate life alongside these intimate strangers. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'A novel set on the M25. Now, that piqued my curiosity. I enjoy nothing more than a good 24-hour tale, film or book, and Jake Wallis Simons delivers here. JAM is a perfect blend of suspense, humanity and humour.' - Alison Rae, Managing Editor, Polygon
Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, I was reminded very much of Charlotte Gray when following Jake Wallis Simons’ heroine Rosa Klein, the background of Jewish suffering every bit as compelling as Schindler’s List. His novel follows Rosa Klein as her despairing parents manage to find her a place on one of the last kindertransports to leave Berlin. It is a story powerfully told, demanding your complete attention, involving you in a story of heartbreak, love and loss as Rosa attempts to make a life and career for herself alone in this new bewildering country of Britain. It’s a film waiting to happen although so vivid is Jake Wallis Simons description and attention to detail I feel I’ve seen it already. If you only read one novel this year make it this one. Judging Panel Fiction Uncovered 2011: ‘As the net closes in on the Jews of Berlin, a family places their hopes for survival in their teenage daughter, sending her from Germany to England. As she fights to make herself understood in a strange land, can she save them in time?’Like for Like Reading:Schindler’s Ark, Thomas KeneallyCharlotte Gray, Sebastian Faulk